NEW BEDFORD — The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center has acquired a high definition film projector, with funding from the City, that will allow The Z to increase programming and show films.

Previously, the Zeiterion rented technology for some productions, and the high-end technology was expensive and cost-prohibitive for in-house productions at The Z. With the new high-quality technology, The Z can now present programs that were once impossible: movie nights, film festivals, and live streaming broadcasts, in the heart of downtown.

Crowds at the Zeiterion will bring more visitors to downtown, spurring economic activity in New Bedford’s shopping, dining and entertainment center.

The City contributed $40,000 from its free cash account with the support of the City Council, and the Zeiterion pledged to raise the $28,000 remaining to cover the cost of the projector.

“This addition to the Zeiterion is a game changer both for The Z and for downtown New Bedford,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “More opportunities are now available to residents and visitors as a result of our investment in our city’s performing arts center, with more reasons than ever to visit our downtown for entertainment. I’m pleased to sponsor the first film series with The Z’s new projector – our Summer Movie Series, free of charge to the public, showing Jaws this evening, the Sandlot on July 12 and Dirty Dancing on August 9.”

“Thanks to Mayor Mitchell and the City of New Bedford, The Z now has a brand-new state-of-the-art projector in its programming arsenal,” said Rosemary Gill, Executive Director of Programming and Development. “Previously, when an artist required this high-end technology in order to appear at The Z, we had to rent the equipment on a show-by-show basis. It was an expensive proposition. Now, we’ll have the equipment in-house for touring productions, and have the ability to present programs that were formerly cost prohibitive – like movie nights, film festivals and live-stream broadcasts. “

She added, “Downtown New Bedford is booming, and The Z is a major part of the landscape. This theater is a busy place, and we’re pleased that this new projector allows us to offer even more nights of fun and entertaining programs to the community.”

“This is no ordinary projector,” said Justin LaCroix, Executive Director of Production and Facilities. “This unassuming black box has the capacity to project high-definition images across the substantial length of the theater onto the stage-width screen.”

“The Z will be one of the few places in southeastern Massachusetts with a gloriously large screen. In this day of small screen cinemas and cell-phone viewing, it’ll be refreshing to see films in a format that complements the medium,” said Rosemary Gill.

--City of New Bedford

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